Mail-in Voting Done Right

Election Day Is Approaching: Make A Plan To Vote.


Leah Kallen

A voter dropping off his ballot.

Americans are living through a pivotal moment in history. With protests erupting all around the U.S. targetting racism, COVID-19, and climate change, eligible voters cannot ignore their duty in this tumultuous time.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump contradict each other’s views, and the ultimate winner of this election will dictate our next four years as a nation. Every eligible voter must cast their ballot and do it quickly—time is running out.

However, the pandemic completely changed this year’s voting process. A crucial change to meet the Covid-19 safety requirements this year is mail-in voting. Many Americans are choosing this option as opposed to the traditional in-person method as Coronavirus cases are on the rise. Millions have already cast their election ballots by mail, and there are a number of tips that those planning to should keep in mind.

Photo Credit: Leah Kallen

In Pennsylvania, it is required that a filled-out ballot be placed inside of a secrecy envelope, which is then placed inside of an outer return envelope. Without the secrecy envelope, also known as a “naked ballot,” the vote will not be accepted or counted, so voters must follow these specific instructions.

For a ballot to count, you must sign the outer return envelope using the same signature that your state has on file. This simple task is a predominant cause of ballot rejections. Verify that a signature is placed in every necessary location to avoid this highly unfortunate situation and to ensure that your ballot is counted.

Dropping off your Ballot
Drop boxes are scattered throughout the state of Pennsylvania and are a secure way for PA voters to return their ballots. Every voter who plans to vote by mail must be aware of the nearest dropbox, which can be found with a quick google search.

Deadlines vary from state to state, but in Pennsylvania specifically, ballots must be postmarked by November 3rd and arrive by November 6th to the county election office. Tracking your ballot status could be a useful way to make sure that it arrives on time and is counted. PA voters are able to do this by searching PA Voter Services.

There would be nothing worse than trying to vote safely from the safety of your own home, just to find out that your ballot was rejected and not counted toward the election. One cannot stress enough the importance of voting, so learning to adapt to these new circumstances is key. Mail-in voting is necessary, and by following the correct steps, such as using the correct signature and meeting the deadlines, every American voter can and will spark change.